Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baking up our own storm

It’s here. Weatherman said there was a big storm coming. It even has a name -- the “Groundhog Day Storm” -- and it’s expected to dump anywhere between 20 cm and 30 cm of snow in 24 hours. It's hitting hit hard and fast. Outside my window the flakes fall and swirl like those from a snow globe; the scene is achingly beautiful, but deceptively treacherous. Snow is blowing into huge drifts, smothering our farm with an icy blanket, finding its way into every crook and cranny. Snow’s tricky that way.

Since moving to the country, the weather has earned my respect for its sheer power, ruthlessness and beauty. A storm like this out here, in the middle of nowhere, is a call to action. We’ve got the pantry stocked, a pile of my dad's homemade beeswax candles at the ready, the barn is battened down and in case the power goes out, the generator is on standby with several jerry cans of fuel.

The whole farm crew is home today – kids have a snow day and Lucas couldn’t get into work. It’s easy to get cabin fever when hankering down under one roof. Our solution? We’re baking up our own storm.

I’ve made some whole wheat date oatmeal cookies…

…and a loaf of Apple-Raisin Spice Bread.

Lucas whipped up his famous (infamous?) Gonky Balls….

… and he’s making some Portuguese corn bread rolls to accompany tonight's vegetarian chili. Comfort food makes everything better, doesn't it?

But the most fun was making these amazing and so simple Wheat Germ Scones.

Here's the recipe:

• 1/2 cup wheat germ, divided
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 1/3 cup currants
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup milk

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Reserve one tablespoon wheat germ. Combine remaining wheat germ, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cut in butter with pastry blender (or two knives) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in currants.

3.) Beat eggs in small bowl. Add milk; beat until well mixed. Reserve 2 tablespoons milk mixture. Add remaining mixture to flour; stir until mixture forms soft dough that leaves the side of the bowl.

4.) Turn out dough onto well-floured surface. Knead.

5.) Roll out dough into 9" by 6" rectangle. Cut down into six (3") squares. Cut each diagonally in half, making 12 triangles.

6.) Place triangles 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Brush triangles with reserved milk mixture and sprinkle with wheat germ.

7.) Bake 10 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately with a dollop of butter. Eat three more in quick succession.

While our backs may ache from shovelling (our plough is in the shop -- brilliant timing, I know!), but we're sure to have full bellies from all this home-baked goodness!

For folks who have to work and travel today, a snowstorm like this can be a major inconvenience and even scary. But on days like this, where there is nowhere else to be but here, I feel such gratitude to have created our own refuge from the storm.


Mama Pea said...

What a treasure trove of baked goodies. (I will have to try the scones. I love scones.) If Papa Pea and I leave now, will you have the driveway plowed (okay, hand-shoveled) out by the time we get there?? said...

Better make it fast, Mama Pea! I've started popping some of these goodies into the freezer. It's not like I need this much baking around!

David said...

Fiona, we had about 8 inches which is nothing compared to what you have there. Our wind chill dropped to -20+ two nights with tonight a possibility as well. It sure is nice to be inside warm and snug and not have to go outside if I don't want to. It's supposed to be in the thirties by Saturday which will make things quite sloppy around here.

Baking is a good way to keep the house warm productively. I really should fire up the old electric stove and try that method of warming the house. I know my daughter and grandson would like it to be warmer in the house and sure would like the goodies coming out of the oven.

Have a great Canadian winter day. said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dave! Stay warm - it's going to be a chilly night here too! We've had the old woodstove going all day and wow, it warms you to your bones. The goodies help too. :)

Erin said...

I need "Smell-o-Vision"! I bet your house smelled incredible during all that baking, nice job!

farmgirlwanabe said...

Hi Fiona I wasn't sure under which post I should ask my question so I picked one under your recipes section

I believe I recall that you have a wood stove? If yes do you can on it? How do you find having the woodstove? If I remember correctly from one of your early posts when you first moved out to the farm the stove was one of the attractions of the farmhouse?

Also another question - how do I become a 'farm follower' - have not been able to figure it out

Thanks and keep on smilin'


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